I’m going to pretend peHUB is Page Six for a minute with some light reading (hey, its the end of the day on a Friday). Last night I attended the ACG Private Equity Wine Tasting Gala, where buyout pros attempt to one-up each other with their taste in exclusive, rare fine wines. Each participating firm sponsors a table, where the GPs pour a special wine of their choosing to a crowd of bankers, intermediaries and service providers.
The wines are so valuable that one firm (which I won’t name) almost came to fisticuffs with an overzealous waiter over a few open, full bottles. As the event wound down, the head waiter insisted that the PE pro hand the wine over to him so he could dispose of it. The PE pro was appalled, shouting, “We brought this! This is ours!” The argument escalated when the waiter made a grab for the wine bottles. I half expected the PE pro to smash one on the side of the table and use it as a weapon, but I guess that would have defeated the purpose of saving the wine. The whole scuffle ended when the PE pro strong-armed the bottles out of the waiter’s hands and engaged in some serious boxing out while he stowed the wine. I think I may have heard a fellow waiter saying “Don’t be a hero man, it’s not worth it,” to the overzealous waiter as he retreated.
So that happened, but otherwise it was a pretty predictable event. It was certainly well-attended, but I was told that prior years had drawn shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. One PE pro explained, “It’s hard to go to LPs and say ‘times are so tough out there’ when you’re out drinking wine and hosting tables at parties.”
Sadly, I can’t even report which firm had the best wine, as I’m no oenophile. I mostly hid my wine ignorance by avoiding any conversation resembling “finishing notes of oaky tobacco-berry.”